The No. 9 Xavier Musketeers (10-1) welcome the Marshall Thundering Herd (8-3) to Cintas Center. The Musketeers will try to continue their five-game winning streak. Xavier opened as a 22.5-point favorite, while the games Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 178 points. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 19, 2017.
Marshall Thundering Herd at Xavier Musketeers ATS Preview
The last time the Thundering Herd played, they barely escaped the Ohio Bobcats, 99-96. Ajdin Penava was the top scorer from either team with 33 points on 10-for-13 shooting. The Thundering Herd knocked down 27 of their 31 free throws (87.1 percent) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.563 (above their season average of 0.555).
The Musketeers hope to maintain momentum after barely hanging on to beat the East Tennessee State Buccaneers in their last matchup, 68-66. Xavier was lifted by Trevon Bluiett, who led the team in scoring with 18 points on 7-for-22 shooting. The Musketeers made 10 of their 12 free throws (83.3 percent) and had an offensive rebounding percentage of 37.5 (above their season average of 33.2).
From an effective field goal percentage perspective, Xavier should have a considerable edge. The upper-echelon Musketeers offense ranks fourth in the nation in that metric at 0.597, while the porous Marshall defense is ranked 254th in effective field goal percentage allowed (0.520).
Games featuring these teams have typically finished over the projected point total. Marshall games have finished over 62.5 percent of the time, while Xavier games have finished over 70.0 percent of the time. The Musketeers hold a clear advantage in terms of straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 10-1 SU and 9-2 ATS, while the Thundering Herd are 8-3 SU and 3-5 ATS.
Jon Elmore has been playing at a high level over the last five games for Marshall, averaging 24.6 points, 7.4 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game.
Marshall Thundering Herd at Xavier Musketeers ATS Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Xavier, ATS Winner – Marshall, O/U – Over
- The Thundering Herd average 6.1 blocks per game, which ranks 11th in the NCAA. The Musketeers rank 153rd in blocks allowed per game (4.5).
- Marshall ranks 70th in steals per game (7.2) while Xavier ranks 108th in steals allowed per game (6.5).
- Xavier ranks 16th in rebounds allowed per game (30.5) while Marshall ranks 241st (40.5).
- The Musketeers rank 15th in assists per game (18.0) while the Thundering Herd rank 189th in assists allowed per game (15.7).
- Marshall averages 26.7 three pointers per game, which ranks 36th in the nation. Xavier ranks 202nd in three pointers allowed per game (24.0).
- The Musketeers average margin of victory in their last five games has been 16.2, down from 18.9 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Thundering Herd have scored an average of 90.4 points per game (0.2 above their season average) and allowed an average of 85.4 points per game (1.5 above their season average).